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Architecture of the Sultanate of Ma'bar in Madura, and other Muslim Monuments in South India1

  • Mehrdad Shokoohy

Extract

During the fourteenth century on the Travancore coast of South India an independent Muslim sultanate was established which lasted for less than half a century, and was eventually terminated by the newly established neighbouring kingdom of Vijayanagar. The short, brutal and enigmatic period of this sultanate has attracted the attention of a number of modern scholars who have tried to put together its history through study of the coins, a few inscriptions, and the brief, often dismissive remarks found in the North Indian histories, as well as, most informative of all, the travel account of Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, who visited the region when the power of the sultanate was at its peak. However, none of these studies agrees even in the number and chronology of the sultans, let alone the details of the events: a confusion which is a direct result of the lack of adequate information at the present time. Under the circumstances it may appear presumptuous to embark on a description of the architectural monuments of this sultanate.

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This article is a revised and extended version of a paper read to the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland on 12 October 1989. The study was initiated in 1988 and the field work was carried out by the author and Natalie H. Shokoohy in India in the summers of 1988 and 1990. At the time of the survey measured drawings of the monuments of Madura, and sketch drawings of the buildings of Calicut were made. Bahrain Leissi helped in the preparation of the final drawings in London. The research has been supported by the Leverhulme Trust and the Society for South Asian Studies.

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2 For modern numismatic and historical studies on the Sultanate of Ma'bar see Rodgers, C. J.,“Coins of kings of Ma'bar”, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (JASB), LXIV, i (1895), pp. 4954; Chari, T. M. Ranga and Chari, T. Desika, “Some unpublished Ma'bar coins”, Indian Antiquary, xxxi (05 1902), pp. 231–3; Hultzsch, E., “The coinage of the sultans of Madura”, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (JRAS), 1909, II, pp. 667—83; Ahmad, Shamsuddin, A Supplement to Volume II of the Catalogue of Coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta (the Sultans of Delhi and their Contemporaries), Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) (Delhi, 1939), pp. 7787; Husaini, S. A. Q., “The chronology of the first two sultans of Madura”, The Proceedings of the Pakistan History Conference (Fifth Session) held at Khairpur under the auspices of the Pakistan Historical Society (1955), pp. 193—6; Husaini, S. A. Q., “The history of Madura SultanateJournal of the Asiatic Society of Pakistan (JASP), II (1957), pp. 90130. A copper coin of ‘Alā al-Dīn Udaujī found later than the dates of the above studies has also been reported in the Annual Report on Indian Epigraphy (ARIE) (19651966), p. 211, no. E206. For the main historical studies see Rangachari, V., “The history of the Naik kingdom of Madura”, Indian Antiquary, XLIII (01 1914), pp. 16; Aiyangar, S. Krishnaswami, South India and her Muḥammadan Invaders (New Delhi, not dated but c. 1921); Husain, Mahdi, “A short history of Ma'bar”, Indo-Iranica, VIII, i (03 1955), pp. 1323; Husain, Mahdi, Tughluq Dynasty (Calcutta, 1963), pp. 108–9, 196–7, 242–5, 600–6; Devakunjari, D., Madurai through the Ages (Madras, 1979), pp. 155–69.

3 Muḥammad b. ‘Abd’ullāh called Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, Tuḥfat al-nuẓẓārft gharā'ib al-amsār wa ‘ajā’ib al-asfār, ed. Harb, Talal (Beirut, 1987), pp. 500—1, 605–11.

4 Ḥudūd al-‘ālam min al- mashriq ila’l-maghrib, ed. Sotoodeh, M. (Tehran, 1962), p. 66; Abū Isḥāq Ibrahim b. Muḥammad al-Istakrī, al-Masālik wa al-mamālik (Arabic text), (Cairo, 1961), pp. 102, 104–5; Masālik wa mamālik (Persian text), ed. Afshar, I. (Tehran, 1961), pp. 147, 151; Abū ‘Abd’ullāh Muĥammad b. Aḥmad al- Muqaddasī, Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fi ma'rifat al-aqālīm (Leiden, 1906), pp. 477, 484, 486; Abū ‘Abd’ullah Muḥammad b. Muhammad al-Idrīsī, Opus Geographicum (Napoli-Roma, 1971), pp. 185–98.

5 Bozorg fils de Chahriyār de Rāmhormoz, Livre des marveilles de l'inde (Kitāb-i ‘aja’ ib al-hind) (Leiden, 19831986), pp. 94, 105, 157–8.

6 al-Baghdādī, ‘Abd al-Laṭīf, Kitāb al-ifāda wa al-i'tibār (Damascus, 1983), p. 30.

7 Yule, Henry, The Book of Ser Marco Polo, the Venetian Concerning the Kingdoms and Marvels of the East (3rd edn. revised by Cordier, H., London, 1903), ii, pp. 296, 337, 603.

8 Abu'l-Khair, Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍl'ullāh b.‘Imād al-daula, Jāmi' al-tawārīkh, facsimile of Persian and Arabic texts in Jahn, Karl, Rashīd al-Dīn's History of India (The Hague, 1965), Arabic MS of 714/1314–15 (Royal Asiatic Society) fo. 2063, Persian MS of 717/1317–18 (Tup Qapu), fo. 335–6, Persian MS of 833/1429–30 (British Museum), fo. 384; also see Yule, Henry, “An endeavour to elucidate Rashiduddin's geographical notices of India”, JRAS, New Series, iv (1870), pp. 345–56.

9 The monopoly of the horse trade in Ma'bar by the Muslims has also been described by Marco Polo, see Yule, Henry, The Book of Ser Marco Polo (London, 1903), ii, p. 340.

10 The names differ in different MSS. Waṣṣāf, who records similar information gives the name as Taqī al-Dīn, see ‘Abd’ullāh b. Faḍl'ullāh al-Shirāzī known as Waṣṣaf, , Tazjiyat al-amṣar wa tajriyat al-a'ṣār (Bombay, 1269 (18521853)), iii, p. 302.

11 Ibid., 301–9; also see Elliot, H. M. and Dowson, J., The History of India as Told by its Own Historians, the Muḥammadan Period (London, 1871), iii, pp. 32, 34–5, 45–7; Cordier's note in Yule, Henry, The Book of Ser Marco Polo (3rd ed. revised by Cordier, H., London, 1903), ii, p. 333.

12 ‘Imād al-Dīn Ismā’īl b. ‘Alī known as Abu'1-Fidā, Taqwīm al-buldān, Pers. tr. by Ayati, A. (Tehran, 1970), pp. 401–3, 410–11.

13 Waṣṣaf, , op. cit., iv, p. 527; Dihlawī, Amīr Khusrau, Khazā'in al-futūḥ, ed. Haq, Syid Moinul, Aligarh, no date but c. 1927, p. 174.

14 Ḍiyā' al-Dīn Barnī, Tārīkh-i Firūz Shāhī (Calcutta, 1862), p. 283.

15 Dihlawī, Amīr Khusrau, op. cit., 126. On his return Kāfūr was received by the sultan on Monday 4th of Jumāda II, 711/18 October, 1311, ibid., p. 181.

16 Ibid., p. 172.

17 Ibid., p. 174; Khusrau, Amīr, Duval Rānī Khiḍr Khān, facsimile copy of a manuscript published for the 700th anniversary of Amīr Khusrau (Lahore, 1975), folio 8 obverse.

18 Khusrau, Amīr, Khazā'in al-futūḥ, Aligarh, c. 1927, p. 144; Iṣāmī, Futūḥ al-salatīn, ed. Husain, A. Mahdi (Agra, 1938), p. 287.

19 Muḥammad Qāsim b. Hindū Shāh known as Firishta, Tārīkh-i Firishta (Lucknow, 1864), i, p. 120.

20 Barnī, Ḍiyā' al-Dīn, op. cit., pp. 398—9; Firishta, , op. cit., i, p. 126.

21 Lal, Rai Bahadur Hira, Descriptive list of inscriptions in the Central Provinces and Berar (Nagpur, 1916), p. 51, inscription no. 71; also see 52, inscription no. 75; Verma, B. D., “Inscriptions from the Central Museum, Nagpur”, Epigraphia Indica, Arabic and Persian Supplement (EIAPS) (19551956), pp. 109–12.

22 Barnī, Ḍiyā' al-Dīn, op. cit., pp. 480–1; Yaḥyā b. Aḥmad b. ‘Abd’ ullah al-Sihrindī, Tārīkh-i Mubārak Shāhī (Calcutta, 1931), p. 106; ‘Isāmī, , op. cit., pp. 449–51; Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, , op. cit., ii, pp. 78–9.

23 Ibid.

24 JRAS, 1909, pl. facing 680, no. 2; JASP, 1957, p. 127, pl. 12, no. 1.

26 The date of 742/1341–2 given by Aḥmad, Yaḥyā b., op. cit., p. 106, and Firishta, , op. cit., i, p. 137 is therefore much too late.

26 Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, , op. cit., p. 498.

27 The date of the earliest coins may be read as 734, see JASB, 1909, p. 673, coin no. 5; Ahmad, Shamsuddin, op. cit., p. 81, n. 4; JASP, 1957, p. 127, no. 2.

28 The name Udauj appears on his coins. Ibn Baṭṭūṭa records the name as Udaijī.

29 Pope, A. U. (ed.), A Survey of Persian Art (London and Tokyo, 19641965), ii, pp. 579–83.

30 Ibid., iii, pp. 933–4.

31 JASP (1957), pp. 110–15.

32 Sirāj ‘Afīf, Shams, Tārīkh-i Fīrūz Shāhī (Calcutta, 1981), pp. 261–3. Elliot's translation of this passage is incomplete and inaccurate, see Elliot, H. M. and Dowson, J., The History of India as Told by its Own Historians (London, 1871), iii, p. 339.

33 ARIE, 19631964, p. 85, B. 311.

34 Madhurāvijayam of Gangā Dēvi, ed. Thiruvenkatachari, S. (Annamalainagar, 1957), pp. 6871, 121–26.

35 The large amount of Roman pottery and currency found in south India shows the extent of the trade via this sea route even in ancient times. See Wheeler, R. E. M. et al. , “Arikamedu, an Indo Roman trading station on the east coast of India”, Ancient India, II (07, 1946), pp. 116–19.

36 Our town plan of Tughluqābād is the author's survey based on aerial photographs. The town has not yet been fully studied, but for an earlier report see Waddington, Hilary, “‘Ādilābād a part of the fourth Delhi”, Ancient India, I (1946), pp. 6076.

37 Schlumberger, Daniel, Lashkari Bazar, une résidence royale ghaznévide et ghoride, Mémoires de la délégation archéologique française en Afghanistan, XVIII, Part 2 - Plates (Paris, 1978), pl. 2.

38 Kiani, M. Y. (ed.), A General Study on Urbanization and Urban Planning in Iran (Tehran, 1986), p. 229.

39 See in particular the plan of Qalāt and Līvār, ibid., 90, 92; also see Kleiss, W., “Erkundungsfahrten in Iran”, Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran, iv (1971), pp. 5164.

40 Khan, F. A., Banbhore, a Preliminary Report on the Recent Archaeological Excavations at Banbhore (fourth edition, Karachi, 1976), p. 8.

41 Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, , op. cit., p. 558, describes the three parts of Daulatābād; for a town plan see Michell, George (ed.), Islamic Heritage of the Deccan (Bombay, 1986), p. 18.

42 Ibid., p. 28.

43 Yazdani, G., Bidar, its History and Monuments (Oxford, 1947), map of Bidar.

44 Petruccioli, Attilio, La citta' del sole e delle acque Fathpur Sikri (Roma, 1988), p. 34, fig. 7.

45 Langles, L., Monuments anciens et modernes de l'Hindustan (Paris, 1821), i, figure facing p. 98.

46 Acharya, Parasanna Kumar, Architecture of Mānasāra, iv (New Delhi, 1980), pp. 6398; Ananthalwar, M. A. and Rea, Alexander (eds.) and Iyer, A. V. Thiagaraja (compiler), Indian architecture, i (1980), pp. 158–73.

47 Richard Owen Cambridge, An Account of the War in India between the English and French on the Coast of Coromandel from the Year 1750 to the Year 1760 (London, 1761), pl. VII, facing p. 105.

48 Our map is based on Map of Madura region, Army Map Service, Washington D.C., 1968, map no. NC44–9.

49 Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, , op. cit., p. 607.

50 For the forms of South Indian columns and brackets see Jouveau-Dubreuil, G., Archéologie du sud de l'Inde, I, Architecture, Annales du Musée Guimet, Bibliothèque d'études, xxvi (Paris, 1914), pp. 5960, 137–40.

51 Fergusson, J., History of Indian and Eastern architecture, revised by Burgess, James (London, 1910), i, p. 363; Balasubrahmanyam, S. R., Middle Chola Temples (Faridabad, Haryana, 1975), p. 20; Sivaramamurti, C., The Chola Temples, ASI (New Delhi, 1984), p. 17.

52 Page, J. A., A Memoir on Kotla Firoz Shah, Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India, LII (1937), pp. 3342, Persian text 3–25; Shokoohy, M., Haryana I, the Column of Firūz Shāh and Other Inscriptions from the District of Hisar, Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum, Part iv, XLVII (London, 1988), pp. 1819; Shokoohy, M. and Shokoohy, N. H., Ḥiṣār-i Fīrūza, London, 1988, pp. 32–5.

53 Yule, H., “An endeavour to elucidate Rashiduddin's geographical notices of India”, JRAS, New Series IV (1870), p. 347.

54 Burgess, J., The Architecture of Ahmadabad, Part I, Archaeological Survey of Western India, vii (London, 1900), pp. 4651, 54–7, 61, pls. 56, 67, 74.

55 Shokoohy, M., Bhadreśvar, the Oldest Islamic Monuments in India (Leiden and New York, 1988), pp. 2533.

56 Ibid., pp. 19–25.

57 Ibid., pp. 42–9.

58 Wetzel, Friedrich, Islamische Grabbauten in Indien (Ausgabe, 1918, reprinted Osnabrück, 1970), pp. 1523; Yamamoto, Tatsuro, Ara, Matsuo and Tsukinowa, Tokifusa, Delhi, Architectural Remains of the Sultanate Period (Tokyo, 1967), i, pp. 82–4, T. 80–91.

59 Shajara-yi mubārak-i āl-i nabī rasūl aulād-i quṭāb al-aqṭāb qāḍī al-Islām muftī al-inām haḍrat-i jināb-i Qādī Sayyid Tāj al-Dīn, Madras, undated but compiled in 1955 and printed after 1966, pp. 25, 7, 22.

60 Creswell, K. A. C., Early Muslim Architecture (Oxford, 1969), 1, i, p. 100, fig. 374: Fehérvá;ri, Gza and Hutt, Anthony, “The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the importance of the Miḥrāb Suleyman”, Arab Architecture Past and Present (Durham, 1983), pp. 1012.

61 Marshall, John, The monuments of Muslim India, Cambridge History of India, iii, p. 581, pl. 6 no. 11, Shokoohy, M., Rajasthan I, Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum, Part IV, XLIX (London, 1986), pp. 1213, pl. la.

62 Ibid., pp. 55–6, pl. 51.

63 Scerrato, Umberto et al. , “Archaeological activities in the Yemen Arab Republic”, East and West, xxxv, iv (1985), pp. 375—82, figs. 38, 48. Foundations of a mosque with a similar plan have also been found in Sīrāf, see Whitehouse, David, “Excavations at Sīrāf”, sixth interim report, Iran, XII (1974), p. 16, fig. 8.

64 Whitehouse, D., “Excavations at Sīrāf, fourth interim report”, Iran, ix (1971), pp. 1112, fig. 5; Fifth interim report”, Iran, x (1972), pp. 82–5, fig. 13; D. Whitehouse, “Staircase minarets on the Persian Gulf”, ibid., pp. 155–8.

65 The final report of the excavations at Ghubayrā, in which the mosque is described, has not yet been published. In the interim reports the mosque, known locally as the Dargāh, has been referred to as a gatehouse or a throne room. See Bivar, A. D. H. and Fehervari, G., “Excavations at Ghubayrā, 1971, first interim report”, JRAS, 1974, p. 112, fig. 2; Survey of excavations in Iran, 1973–4”, Iran, XIII (1975), p. 181, pls. VI a and VIb; Proceedings of the third annual symposium on archaeological research in Iran(Tehran, 1974), pp. 257—8, fig. 5.

66 A few of the Islamic inscriptions of Calicut have been reported previously but their texts have not yet been published. See ARIE, 19471948, p. 13, no. B. 94; 1965–6, pp. 19–20, 136–7, nos. D. 52–67, p. 142, no. D. 114. For a brief report on the monuments see Kuttiammu, T. P., “The mosques of Kerala”, Splendours of Kerala (Marg, Bombay, 1983), pp. 111—15.

67 Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, , op. cit., p. 575.

68 Sarkar, H., Monuments of Kerala, ASI (New Delhi, 1978), p. 49.

69 Firishta, , op. cit., ii, pp. 369–70.

70 Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, , op. cit., p. 572.

71 Correa, Gaspar, The Three Voyages of Vasco da Gama, tr. Stanley, Henry E. J. (London, 1869), pp. 209–14, 330, 373; Cidade, Hernani (ed.) and Múrias, Manuel (historical notes), Ásia de joäo de Barros (Lisbo, 1945), i, 156–65.

72 Ibid., ii, pp. 153–63; Affonso Dalboquerque the Younger, The Commentaries of the Great Dalboquerque, Second Viceroy of India, tr. by Birch, Walter de Gray, (London, 1875), ii, pp. 6471. This records that the palace of Calicut was set on fire, and also that the Marshal ordered a mosque near the city to be burnt, but does not make it clear if the order was carried out.

73 Firishta, , op. cit., ii, p. 372.

74 Affonso Dalboquerque the Younger, op. cit., iv, 1884, pp. 6175.

75 Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, , op. cit., p. 572.

76 Bernier, Ronald M., The temples of Nepal (revised edn., New Delhi, 1978), pp. 2931; Korn, Wolfgang, The traditional architecture of the Kathmandu Valley (Kathmandu, 1979) p. 111.

77 ARIE, 19651966, p. 136, nos. D. 53–4.

78 The word shayyad literally means resurfacing the walls with plaster, but can also mean renovation, restoration, and sometimes making additions to a building, see Steingass, F., Arabic-English Dictionary (London, no date but c. 1884), p. 566, under the word śād.

79 Si‘rd or Si‘rdh is also recorded by Abu'l-Fidā, , op. cit., pp. 324–5, as Si‘rt and Is‘irdh.

80 The title al-Kanafī, “of the coasts”, must refer to the reputation of the family in maritme trade.

81 The inscription has so far remained unreported and needs further study. Our reading of the name was made on site.

82 Singh, Madanjeet, The Cave Paintings of Ajanta (London, 1965), pp. 74–5, 130–1, pls. 35, 60; Ghosh, A., Ajanta Murals, ASI (New Delhi, 1967), pls. 47, 83.

83 Golmohammadi, Javad, “Wooden religious buildings and carved woodwork in central Iran”, unpublished PhD thesis, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1989, pp. 123, 255—7, Pls. 36, 40, 88.

84 Scerrato, U. et al. , “Report on the 3rd campaign for typological survey of the Islamic religious architecture in North Yemen”, East and West, xxxvi, vi (1986), p. 428, figs. 61–2.

85 The inscription is unpublished, our reading was made on site, and from a photograph, not reproduced here.

86 The inscription is unpublished but was reported in ARIE, 19651966, p. 136 no. D. 57.

87 Burgess, James, Mohammadan Architecture of Bharoch, Cambay, Dholka, Champanir and Mahmudabad in Gujarat, Archaeological Survey of Western India, vi (London, 1896), pp. 30–4, pls. 34, 37, 42–3.

88 Reported in ARIE, 19471948, p. 13, no. B. 94; 1965–6, p. 137, no. D. 137; a photograph of the inscription is produced in Kuttiammu, T. P., op. cit., p. 114, fig. 2.

89 The inscription has not been reported previously.

90 ARIE, 19651966, p. 137, no. D. 59. Our information is based on our reading on site, and a photograph, not reproduced here.

1 This article is a revised and extended version of a paper read to the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland on 12 October 1989. The study was initiated in 1988 and the field work was carried out by the author and Natalie H. Shokoohy in India in the summers of 1988 and 1990. At the time of the survey measured drawings of the monuments of Madura, and sketch drawings of the buildings of Calicut were made. Bahrain Leissi helped in the preparation of the final drawings in London. The research has been supported by the Leverhulme Trust and the Society for South Asian Studies.

Architecture of the Sultanate of Ma'bar in Madura, and other Muslim Monuments in South India1

  • Mehrdad Shokoohy

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